Sound — 8
When I first heard this record, I was unimpressed, appalled and more or less disappointed. I asked myself, "why would anybody ever consider listening to this?" Well, I listened to the album over and over, getting used to it, and I can seriously say this album is among the only few 'metal' CD's I can stand. The key to liking this album is having an open mind, and avoiding musical stereotypes. Their drummer is amazing, drum machine or not. Assuming you know what a poly rhythm is, this album is the mother, father, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and children of them. Please excuse my literary cheesiness. Although this album consists of plenty of breakdowns, I wouldn't even consider ranking over half of them as 'breakdowns'. In reality, they're simply interesting heavy parts. They utilize their eight string guitars by tuning to F-sharp, thus complementing the music with unique and interesting guitar tone. This album incorporates some seriously intriguing styles, such as the 'Egyptian' style of writing in 'cursing akenaten' all the way to their hardcore roots displayed in the title track 'Rareform'. I'm not sure how they did it, but they managed to merge several music cultures, keeping their own style within the mixture, and keep heavy music interesting.
Lyrics — 9
Grant in person (I've watched videos) seems like a hardcore beef head (haha). Despite his physical attributes, he is an amazing lyricist. Here's an example, taken from 'A Vicious Reforming Of Features": "Creator as Observer congruent systems collapsing mutating waveforms to become sight sound touch. A sick perception is now my only link to reality sorched eternally blistering yet I prevail. My merciless plan of creation etails seeing the unseen forge an abomination to annihilate with a cold hearted sense of compassion devastation. Thy vicious modus operandi. Observer as Creator beguiling unstable electric forms. These tools of judgment they thirst for impure. Draining a carcass devour the contaminate and filth that roams amongst us sterilizing out human forms. Shredding tissue fracturing bone. Burning synapse rewiring conscious. A brutal reforming of features a hideous cleansing of God. Self Purification achieved when what's left behind is devoid of deformations." The last line, is seriously genius in my view. His lyrics always complement the music, along with his tasteful vocal placement. It's pretty hard to make it sound as good as he does. Now, most people who listen to this album get turned off immediately, due to Grants odd vocal technique. This is where your open mind comes into play. I absolutely hated this album because of him. Despite anybody's personal taste, Grant is an awesome vocalist, incorporating many vocal styles (listen to Cursing Akenaten). His vocals sound so weird, and so different, that it makes the album what it is. His low is punchy and completely 'in your face', and his high is just plain terrifying.
Overall Impression — 9
Most people compare After The Burial with Veil Of Maya. Don't get me wrong, Veil Of Maya is a great band, but very much unlike After The Burial. Although they're really unique with this new album, there's definitely a ton of Meshuggah influence, especially on their last song (A Vicious Reforming Of Features). That song happens to be the most impressive on the album, as the drummer makes other drummers look stupid. When I say he's good, I don't mean super fast or anything. I mean he's very talented when it comes to poly rhythms and just being tasteful in general. I love this album in nearly every way. I'm just fairly sick of the album, as I've listened to it way too many times. There's plenty more to say about this album, but you get the gist.